Like many weddings at Haven’s Kitchen, William and Ellen’s wedding was unconventional. But even more so, since guests were expecting to arrive to an engagement party rather than a wedding reception.
What was the most important part of the wedding planning process for you?
It was pretty important that we got married in New York because this was the place where we met and fell in love. We wanted a space that was unconventional but not too trendy, simple but not DIY.
Haven’s Kitchen is cozy and personable and just like being at home, but much more tastefully decorated. Going into wedding planning, we knew we wanted to celebrate with our family and with our friends but neither of us are good being center of attention. We decided to get married in an intimate ceremony and then surprise our guests with our wedding celebration, disguised as our engagement party. It felt so unconventional and so right from the moment we settled on that decision.That’s really when the wheels came off the bus.
How did you plan the menu?
In another homage to New York, we wanted good local food that would be memorable and would serve as a second layer of surprise to our surprise wedding. We have pretty broad tastes when it comes to food and Chef David was wonderful about taking the reins and giving our favorite foods an elegant twist. We’ve had countless guests compliment us on how delicious the food was.
What were some of the details you were excited to see come to life as part of your wedding?
It was so, so wonderful to involve all the important people in our lives in our ceremony. My best friend registered as a Universal Life Minister so that she could marry us. William’s brother stood up with us to translate the ceremony for our parents. William’s sister, a professional pianist, recorded the processional music. And Ellen’s brother facilitated the ring warming ceremony in which 15 of our ceremony guests blessed our rings and our marriage. To have everyone play a part in the act of marrying us was so meaningful.
What have you learned about yourselves and each other in the last year as you’ve put together your wedding?
We make a really good team. It really is the stuff of dreams. William is decisive when I am not and vice versa. We were so in sync with our wedding vision and it made the planning process so smooth. In the first half of the planning process, I handled a lot of the correspondence and coordination but as I was reaching the finish line of my MBA, William really stepped in to make sure we were in tip-top shape with the wedding.
Event Management and Menu: Haven’s Kitchen
Her Dress: Theia
Her Shoes: Manolo Blahnik
His Tux: Lord’s Tailor
His Shoes: Salvatore Ferragamo
Décor and Flowers: Designs by Ahn and Patrick J Clayton Productions
Photographer: Cynthia Chung
Ceremony Music: Joyce Chan (Sister of the Groom)
DJ: James Arnold (74 Events)
Hair and Makeup: Sachiko Yanase
Wedding Cake: M&W Bakery
Videography: Shutter and Sound
To see more pictures from William and Ellen’s wedding, check out their wedding at Style Me Pretty.